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Aims: Infections caused by rubella, though mild and self-limiting, can cause severe complications to newborn babies. It affects pregnant women mainly during their first trimester, invades the fetus leading to congenital rubella syndrome. This study was carried out to assess a population of pregnant women for rubella virus IgG antibodies and to determine their level of susceptibility to the viral infection in Rivers State.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) and Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH), both in Rivers State, Nigeria, between June 2019 and June 2020.
Methodology: Two hundred and seventy (270) consenting pregnant women, attending Rivers State University Teaching Hospital and University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, were randomly assessed for the study. The sera were analyzed for detectable anti-rubella virus IgG antibody following the manufacturer’s description using ELISA kits.
Results: Of the 270 samples evaluated for rubella Immunoglobulin G antibody, 241 (89.3%) were positive and 29 (10.7%) were negative. Rubella IgG seroprevalence was not associated with age, gestational stage, occupation and education.
Conclusion: The level of rubella IgG among the pregnant women in Rivers State was highly suggestive of exposure with several bouts of the viral infection. Therefore, there is an urgent need to improve Rubella infection surveillance, create awareness and organize Rubella screening for pregnant women.
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